American popular music in the first third of the 20th century both reflected and challenged gender values in the United States. The cover art, which often sold the sheet of music, often depicted beautiful women wearing the latest fashions. However, some pieces of music came close to the edge of challenging sexual norms, in particular some of the race music of the period.

A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody by Irving Berlin is a good example of the "idolization of the female" characterized by the Ziegfield Follies in which it appeared.

© David Bailey, David Halsted and Michigan State University. May be reproduced for non-profit or educational purposes (though we'd like to know about it); all other uses require permission of the authors.